Mets Afternoon Notes: Captain Kirk, Santana’s Schedule, Collins Not Worried About OF Defense

An article by posted on February 26, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Notes

Despite Sandy Alderson’s concern about the Mets outfield defense, manager Terry Collins indicated he is not worried about it. “We know Andres Torres is an outstanding defender,” Collins said. “We know the left fielder is a very good outfielder, and the kid who is playing right field is working as hard as any guy that I’ve ever been around, so he’s going to be comfortable in right field and that’s the key.”

Johan Santana completed a bullpen session in which he simulated throwing 32 pitches over two innings and made 73 throws overall including warmups. He remains on track to start the Mets second Grapefruit League game on March 6th. Terry Collins expects Santana to long toss Wednesday and throw batting practice leading up to his start.

Collins chastised Ruben Tejada this morning for arriving on time according to Brian Costa. “I told him he was going to have a bad day, and so far he’s had one.” Sure, Tejada wasn’t late, but he blew off Collins’ request to be early and that’s what ticked Collins off. Asked if he feels the pressure, Tejada responded, “No,no,no. I’m going to play my baseball. Play my game and try to help the team win games this year.”

Andrew Keh of the NY Times says the most major-league-ready outfield prospect in camp is Kirk Nieuwenhuis and he has dibs if something opens up. “There’s no doubt this is an important spring for him because of the situation we’re looking at, with us in desperate need of guys who can play outfield,” Manager Terry Collins said of Nieuwenhuis. “We’re going to give him a lot of playing time. He’s going to get plenty of chances to prove himself.”

Sunday Morning Notes

Most of the players will complete their physicals today as they get ready for their first official full squad workout on Monday. Terry Collins will set the tone for his camp and address the troops beforehand.

Ruben Tejada arrived to Digital Domain Park this morning and met with Terry Collins at 8:00 AM to clear the air. The manager wanted Tejada at the team’s complex by January so he could work with his second baseman Daniel Murphy, but Tejada said he preferred to stay in Panama and work with a personal trainer instead. The young shortstop said he is only hearing now that his manager was disappointed that he did not arrive early. He spoke with Jose Reyes who told him to play his game and be happy.

Johan Santana is scheduled to throw his fourth bullpen session of camp this morning only this time it will closely resemble real game action. Santana will toss 20 to 25 pitches, sit down to mimic the Mets batting, then return to the mound for 15 to 20 additional pitches, according to Terry Collins. If all goes well, Santana has one long-toss session remaining before throwing live batting practice and then starting the second game of the team’s Grapefruit League season. He’ll face off against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 6 at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie. Don’t mess with the Johan…

Ike Davis finally took some cuts against live pitching on Saturday, after missing most of last season with an ankle injury. Davis got to face Mets top prospect Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee and Daniel Herrera. He mostly just tracked pitches, but did swing three or four times. “It looked fast, but the more I swung the more I felt comfortable,” Davis said. “Every pitch, I got less jumpy.”

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